A South Florida crematorium owner is hoping someone will come forward to claim remains found in an urn floating in the Intracoastal Waterway in North Miami.
"I am expected and hopeful any family will come forward, if for no other reason to bring this matter to a close and have a sense of completion," said Geronimo Mena Jr., owner of Hollywood-based Guiding Light Cremations.
Mena said the remains were found in an urn in the water near the 163rd Street Bridge in North Miami Beach. He offered to keep them in a temporary urn in the hopes relatives will claim them.
He said he is 99 percent sure that the ashes are of human remains because of their color, texture and presence of bone particles.
Mena said when he got the urn, the remains were in a plastic bag tied together by a string.
"It was devoid of any label or customary tag," Mena said.
He said urns usually have identifying features on a stainless steel tag with the name of the crematorium, name of the deceased and tag number.
Mena said under Florida statute he can hold the remains for 120 days. If no one claims them in that time, he can dispose of them legally. If the family does claim the remains, he will scatter them and give the family a certificate indicating the longitude and latitude of the scattering site, he said.
"I will offer them the opportunity to have the procedure completed legally," Mena said.
Otherwise, he will scatter them at sea himself.
Mena said it's not legal to scatter ashes in the Intracoastal Waterway. The Environmental Protection Agency declares that human remains must be buried at least three nautical miles from land.